Doyle ended up writing four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson. All but four are told in the first person by Watson, two by Holmes, and two are written in the third person. Together, this series of beautifully written Victorian literature has sold more copies than any other books in the English language, with the exceptions of the Bible and Shakespeare.
Volume 1 in this series consists of two novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, followed by a collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
I read a few Sherlock Holmes stories many years ago but had no idea that so many were written by Conan Doyle. The stories are of a length that is easy to digest and the excellent narration by Charlton Griffin (tops in my book, up there with Frank Muller and Simon Vance) brings the stories to life with his various character impersonations. I probably like Griffin's narration with a woman's voice the best of any narrator. The women often sound somewhat fickle, but for the late 1800s this wouldn't be too out of step with the times.
The length of each story is such that it can be "read" at a good pace leading to excitement to hear the next story. The voice characterization for Holmes is spot on. Having seen the older movies that featured Basil Rathbone as Holmes, I found myself picturing him as the Holmes character thanks to Griffin's narration.
You will find humor in these stories as well, especially when Holmes must tolerate the incompetence of others around him. At such a cheap price with good audio quality, a top-shelf narration by Griffin, and intriguing stories, this is a must-buy.
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I agree with the person who said that this book needs to do a better job at the chapter breaks and to include a table of contents. Navigating is not easy when all you get on the iPod screen is chapter 1, chapter 2 --and then those divisions don't have anything to do with where the stories stop and start.
Okay, but that is a technical problem and it doesn't take away from this return to the junior high classroom. Did they really let us read about this opium addict in junior high?? Funny, I don't remember such a detailed description of the addiction, while I do remember that the speckled hat band was a snake and a beryl is a gemstone. Hmm, maybe our school used an expurgated edition.
Good job on the narration, although there are some glitches in the recording.
The audiobook version of this collection is no better or worse than the print version, but it is a nice change from reading, especially when time is precious. I have a hard time sitting and doing just one thing, like reading, since I always want to do other things at the same time I am being "entertained." I did that a lot with this one, including having a night time story read to me at bedtime!
Volume 2, of course, and any other collections of Conan Doyle.
His narrative and voices are perfectly in line with what you would expect!
Hard to say, but probably Holmes . .
Any Conan Doyle books are winners. Well worth my time and energy.
I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
Old school Holmes at its best!! Some of the stories are better than the others you just have to keep listening!! But overall great short stories that you never see coming try to figure them out!! You will enjoy it!!!!
There are so many titles in the Sherlock Holmes series, and I have been in a real quandary about where to start! I knew I would eventually get every title, and what a huge amount of credits that would be; a strain even on the Platinum plan! And how do you pick a favorite title to begin with when every story is so clever?
Needless to say I was THRILLED to see the first volume in a series of three anthologies; for three credits I will be able to get every title. "The Complete Stories" in the title makes me so happy; there are no compromises to be made here. What joy!
The narrator was excellent; while I did not care for his female voices, there are not that many times when women are actually speaking in a Sherlock Holmes story. His male voices are excellent; it was always easy to distinguish between Watson and Holmes. Sherlock's voice had that edgy quality that reminded me of the best Sherlock actor from the old black and white movies (Basil Rathbone?).
I know I will listen to these stories again and again! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Volume 1 and am eagerly awaiting Volumes 2 and 3. Just think - three titles and I'll have them ALL (insert gleeful chuckle). :-)
As any true mystery fan knows the two giants of the genre are Poe and Doyle. These two great masters of literature wrote the book on great mystery fiction and great detectives. This is of course Sir Doyle's masterpiece and so the book itself needs no introduction or review from the likes of me. Because of this I choose instead to focus on the reading of this masterpiece. Since this is really a narration by one of the characters, the desired reader must be capable of selling himself as Dr. Watson. Charlton Griffin does this with a flair for the dramatic that makes you truly feel as if Dr. Watson himself is reading you his notes on some of the most famous cases in history. There were moments when I could envision Watson sitting next to the fireplace at Baker St. and reading to visitors intent on seeing the famous address and learning about the most famous duo in crime fighting. Because of this it is no surprise than Charlton Griffin reads some of the most recognized works in classic literature. He is a true master of his craft.
I downloaded these because I was bored and in desperate need of something to fill the silence, but all the while harbouring the honest feeling that Sherlock Holmes was a little culty and geeky and I'd never really get into it. So wrong.
What a joy this series was. Engrossing, exciting, perplexing, funny, and, in the later years, even a little racy! I truly felt drawn into the world of the 19th century and actually feel like I learned more than I ever expected to about an era gone by.
The performance is phenomenal; Griffin can fulfill any accent, any character.
Holmes has enjoyed a real spike of popularity in the past decade and I often overhear debates over the "best Sherlock ever." I can honestly now say that the best Sherlock ever, WAS Sherlock, no updating or sexifying required. There's a reason these books are still favorites.
I never thought that I would be that into Sherlock Holmes. I purchased this mainly because I've decided to become better acquainted with classics that have shaped the literary landscape. I had never found a mystery novel that I had much use for and really without the urging of a friend to at least try Sherlock Holmes I probably wouldn't have.
I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this first part. Amazing book with some brilliant quotes. Very very pleasantly surprised.
I took one star off the performance because the narrator has pretty much one female voice which caused me to have to go back and re-listen to figure out who was speaking. Holmes and Watson are incredibly well voiced.
A book lover with varied interests: history, political and technical and economic thrillers, mysteries, crime dramas, futuristic fantasy.
I was enchanted by Charlton Griffin's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. His reading transported me into the Holmes' persona and gave me the opportunity to fully experience the famed Sherlock Holmes mysteries I relished the depiction of Holmes as a cocaine smoking, bi-polar eccentric who traded indolence for full speed ahead involvement in some of the most intriguiging stories ever told. The stories also provided a look into the society of A. Conan Doyle.
Mr Griffin reads with energy and gives each character a very distinct accent. Mostly this works well, though some of his pronuciation sounds a little strange to a British ear. The hero's name comes out as "Horms" much of the time, and some place names like "Wool-witch" give away that the excellent British accent hides a non-native English speaker :-). That said, this is one of the best Holmes readings available.
"Don't let the accent put you off"
As other reviewers have pointed out, the choice of narrator for this audiobook is a little odd. I am not all that fussy when it comes to accents so I listened to this quite happily. Even so, there were a couple of places where the pronunciation of a word would distracted me from the story. But it wasn't annoying enough to out do the great stories covered by this volume.
My advice would be to stay clear of this if you are badly affected by strange accents. Everyone else should listen carefully to the sample audio and bear in mind that the quality of the stories themselves will keep your interest.
I am quite satisfied with this edition. Surely, the accent is a bit off since the narrator is not British, but I am not a native speaker myself so I did not mind that much. For an American, his performance is actually pretty decent. I especially appreciated that all Sherlock Holmes stories are put together in just 3 volumes so it is easy to get them all. I'd say that for this price it's a good product.
"The stories speak for themselves..."
I'm British and I can't see what the big fuss is in the odd (sometimes amusing) mispronunciation of words - if I can abide it in my friends, I can forgive Charlton Griffin for it. I am surprised to hear that he's American however as that was the one accent I felt he struggled with!
Contrary to a few former reviewers my first priority when buying audiobooks is the ability to distinguish between characters. Griffin has such a brilliant range of voices, albeit with no theatrical differences. But I had to double-take when I first heard him as a woman!
Anyway I recommend this to anyone who simply wants to hear the great stories being read to them (at a very decent price!) in an accent that is true to the time and true to a doctor-esque style. On to Volume II!
"One of several excellent readings"
The older British public seem to prefer their “classics” read in deep, resonant, “classic BBC” voices, out of a belief that it lends gravity to our profound literary heritage. Factors influencing that preference would be the regular diet of recordings of Shakespeare plays received in school, and the popular costume dramas seen at the cinema, on TV, and heard on the radio. Ironically, we also have a love of authenticity, but only when it suits us ! From an audio book perspective, we should want the narrative of Dracula read with an Irish accent, and the Count’s dialogue a la Bela Lugosi : “Leeson to zem, ze cheeldren of ze nat. What mewsic zay mek !” But contrary as ever, most of us want the lot Christopher Lee style.
So how do we want our Sherlock read, then ? In the rich Edinburgh accent of Conan Doyle ? In the very English tones of Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett ? I have to admit a personal fondness for the voices of Basil Rathbone, and the bumbling Watson of Nigel Stock. But as the vast majority of the narrative is from the notebooks of Doctor Watson, a comic, Stock-like voice might begin to try one’s patience after a while. Would an American accent seem inappropriate ? Of course it would, just as you would not expect Stephen Fry to attempt re-makes of John Wayne movies ! ( That would indeed be the day ! ! )
So, with the vast array of narrator choice, who should we go for ? The best three are probably Griffin, Jacobi, and Hardewicke. If money is no object, and you love Sherlock, get all three ! Realistically, prioritising your requirements is the best way forward : cost, completeness, or sound.
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